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Nine? Niente

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devonian.t
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Nine? Niente#1
Posted: 1/2/10 at 4:37am
Take a story with a carefully constructed plot, break it all up like a jigsaw puzzle, then put it together in a way that doesn't give you the whole picture.

That seems to have been Rob Marshall's strategy with this movie.

When the Les Mis boys tried to adapt Martin Guerre from the original movie, they made a key mistake: they removed the central mystery of whether the stranger actually was Martin Guerre, and thereby destroyed the story's central dramatic tension.

Marshall makes the same mistake- at the beginning of the show, singing My Husband Makes Movies, Guido's wife provides the catalyst for his meltdown by announcing she is leaving him. What follows is a response to this life-shattering news and wake-up call by Louisa. There is a psychological truth to Guido's sudden artistic crisis.

In the movie, the re-ordering of this key plot moment leaves Guido wallowing in a non-specific stew for far too long.

This mis-step by Marshall and his screenwriters is symptomatic of a complete inability to get to grips with what the show was actually about. As a result, the film is a shambles- a pretty shambles- but a shambles nonetheless.
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SoonerOrLater
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re: Nine? Niente#2
Posted: 1/2/10 at 5:23am
Agreed, while the musical numbers were stunning and well executed the changes, and to be frank all the bits in between fell flat. Frustrating at times to watch only made up for by some excellent performances-Penelope Cruz as many have noted but also I felt Fergie held her own well.

One thing though, I'm pretty sure that wasn't Nicole Kidman singing, can anyone confirm/deny she was dubbed?
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Boybooshka
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re: re: Nine? Niente#2
Posted: 1/2/10 at 7:02am
I'm fairly sure it was her, i think she has such a recognisable tone. Sounded very similar to her vocals in Moulin Rouge, with maybe a slight deepening due to the passing of a few years.

Re the main point, i'm not familiar with the show so wasn't aware of the changes of song placement etc, however going off what you said i think the way it is in the film is much better. Having his breakdown purely inspired by his wife leaving him is very basic 1+2=3 plotting. I think the way it is in the movie is much richer. He is in the midst of a creative block/mid life crisis which leads her to leaving him, this then shocks him into spending time reavaluating his life/values leading to his unblocking.

p.s. i though Fergie was a relevation, playing an almost primeval whore, like some big juicy bruised overipe sexual fruit, loved her!
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re: re: re: Nine? Niente#3
Posted: 1/2/10 at 7:09am
I don't think Nicole Kidman's voice was dubbed - whoever is singing on the clips I've heard sounds absolutely dreadful! Surely had they used a "ghost" to do the singing they would have chosen someone who could actually sing! lol

Still, despite all the negative comments I've read about the movie (and the fact that most of my favourite songs from the show have been cut), I really want to see this. Unfortunately it has been given such a limited release, it's making it VERY hard for me to get to see it. The ONLY city in the whole of South Wales where it is screening is Cardiff (50 miles away from me), which seems pretty ridiculous. Mind you, with the wintry weather at the moment I couldn't get to see it even if it were showing a mile down the road from my house LOL.
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Updated On: 1/2/10 at 07:09 AM
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re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente#4
Posted: 1/2/10 at 9:05am
They still should have cast Dawn French instead of Fergie
Dawn French
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devonian.t
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re: re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente#5
Posted: 1/2/10 at 11:10am
No, the stage show does not suffer from basic plotting. Guido's general malaise is given a reason to have reached critical mass. Many have described Guido in the movie as being unsympathetic: oh, dear, the rich superstar director can't think of a story- boo hoo! In the stage show, there is a more balanced portrayal and motivation for a man in crisis.

What the stage show manages is to create some dramatic tension, whilst the film is a series of stodgy set pieces. What's more, the stage show also manages to give some relevance to the title, Nine, beyond the film's vague allusion to Fellini.
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re: re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente#6
Posted: 1/2/10 at 10:52pm
just endured this at the cinema today...

Awful.

Me and my friend were bored to tears throughout the whole thing - "Be Italian" was the only sequence that made me sit up in my chair, i was hoping it would be the turning point...obvs not!!

I was really hoping to like this film as did my friend but we left the cinema feeling very dejected re: re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente!
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re: re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente#7
Posted: 1/3/10 at 10:37am
It will be interesting to see where NINE will feature in this years BAFTA race. Round one of voting will be announced later on this week. As long as it does not scupper my own title then i'll be happy.
DeNada
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re: re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente#8
Posted: 1/3/10 at 10:49am
Saw the film last night.

Bullet points, because I can't cope with constructing sensible paragraphs this weekend:

- I thought Cinema Italiano was supposed to act as a window for the audience into the world Guido inhabits at the beginning of the film, not come almost 3/4 through and mean almost nothing when we've seen 60s Italy for nearly 2 hours already? It's a great song and I like the filming and staging but it seems a bit pointless.
- Much like many of the musical numbers, frankly. I'd have been happy if they'd excised Folies Bergere and Guarda La Luna (or whatever it's called) frankly.
- In fact I preferred the book scenes to the musical numbers in general. Have they completely rewritten around Unusual Way to make it make no sense when it's got that lovely Kidman/Day-Lewis stuff around it?
- I love Marion Cotillard.
- Some of the musical number staging really just doesn't work. Having Day-Lewis clamber around for Guido's Song just makes it too busy, as if Marshall doesn't trust us to engage with the character himself (which is a shame, as Day-Lewis is magnificent in the book scenes IMO).
- Did I mention I love Marion Cotillard?
- How much plastic surgery has Sophia Loren had?
- I like Unusual Way better down the octave, it suits Kidman's portrayal.

I don't think it's an awful film - the acting (particularly Day-Lewis, Dench and Cotillard) and cinematography are wonderful and there are some nice musical moments. What IS missing, though, is a decent plot or any reason to care about certain characters; Hudson and Fergie get about 5 minutes total screentime and neither of them really add anything to the film except splashy numbers (and frankly I found Be Italian fairly boring overall - what does it have to do with Guido? How is anything she sings about particularly Italian? It's just a song about having sex, really, sung by a mad woman who lives on a beach and dances for 8 year old boys)

At least I can take my newfound love of Marion Cotillard away from it.
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re: re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente#9
Posted: 1/3/10 at 11:30am
Marion stole the film for me. Quite a bit of footage from the film ended on the cutting room floor, which i would still like to see
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re: re: re: re: re: Nine? Niente#10
Posted: 1/15/10 at 7:59pm
So I'm late as usual, but I only saw this film last weekend. You see there are advantages of being on the night shift - you get to write things down which you think of.

I have to admit that I was not familiar with the Musical at all and only knew two of the songs before seeing it (One of them was cut in the film), but here's what I think:

I agree with what a lot of people have said (on here and elsewhere), that Daniel Day-Lewis's character really wasn't very likeable. He sang quite well I guess.

I liked Marion Cotillard and was surprised by her performance. She didn't look very comfortable being sexy, but I think that was the point.

Penelope Cruz was another surprise I thought with her voice(especially when she was dubbed in Volver - altho it was a different style of singing) - and so bendy!!!

Judi Dench who I don't normally like, was very good I thought. Looked very cute with that bob.

Fergie was very good. Did she put on weight specifically for that role??

Kate Hudson was better than expected, but then her Mum can dance and sing, so she obviously inherited some of her talents.

Sophia Loren didn't really sing her song at all, but I think she carried it off just about.

Nicole Kidman was good when she was acting, but her voice wasn't strong enough for the song she sang - I've heard much better versions of it live (and I'm sure her voice went through an Autotuner). I heard Catherine Zeta-Jones was up for the role, and I think she would've been a better choice.

I think the problem in the casting is that they went for too many 'names,' and it worked with Fergie, Kate, Judi, Marion and Penny. Obviously they needed a star for the main role, and again he wasn't too bad, but the script didn't make you like him, nor did his portrayal. For the roles of mother and muse though, you would think they could have gone for non-names as they already had enough and then the singing would not really have come in for criticism - which surely is the main thing they should be trying to do with a Movie Musical (let's not mention Mamma Mia the Movie).

There wasn't really enough plot for my liking between the songs, and they should've just released all the songs individually, as basically they were all just music videos stringed together with some Oscar-winning actors talking between them.
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